Each Dark Parables game is released in Beta form a short while before the final release of the game. Since this is a preview of the game and not the finished product, some of the content gets changed between the Beta release and the Final release.
This page is to catalog relevant changes between the Beta versions of the games and the final product. It's also a place to catalog any interesting tidbits or content in the Bonus Materials for a game that shine light on original concepts or plans for the games that were ultimately changed. These changes can sometimes showcase what directions the developers originally intended to go with things, which might prove useful for theories or discussion of future games.
In all of Blue Tea's Beta games, the Cursed Objects are missing. Likewise, Eipix's Beta games are missing the hidden symbols that are present in each game. However, Parable Pieces are still present in both companies' Betas (with the exception of The Little Mermaid and the Purple Tide).
At the time of this page's creation, we have no information on Beta versions of the first three games, so they are not covered here. If you have information, or a copy of any of these Beta games to share, please let us know.
The Beta game play stops after the player enters the Mist Kingdom and sees the Red Riding Hood Sisters being brought into the palace. A teaser for the rest of the game is shown before the player is taken to a "Thank you for playing" screen and prompted to take the associated survey.
This Beta game is virtually identical to the final release, save for these differences:
- The Gold/Silver Moon slots in the Hollow Tree do not expand for a closer view.
- The Stick object in the Hollow Tree is located by the Moonflower and not by the Gold/Silver Moons.
The Beta download includes more cut-scene videos than what are seen through the Beta game play - although all but one of them are just "WIP" placer videos. This one additional video is of the cut-scene where the Detective frees Jessica and the other Sisters. It pairs the finished cut-scene graphics with a demo voice-over by one of Blue Tea's developers.
The Beta game play stops shortly after the player arrives in the Mirror World, when Katherine is found trapped inside the tree. The player is shown a teaser video for the rest of the game, then the "Thank you for playing" screen and survey prompt.
This Beta game differs from the final release in the following ways:
- The Royal Hat in the Balcony is located on the chair, not on the violin vase.
- The text when clicking on Cyrilla's glass form states, "This glass maiden has a horrified expression on her face. Who is she?" This was changed for the final release to, "Examining the glass maiden yields no clues as to how her curse can be removed."
- The clock at the base of the staircase does not chime when it strikes 12.
- The player is not prompted to click on the doll display in the Dressing Room, nor are they given a quick tutorial once they do click on it. In addition, both doll displays seen in the beta require a click to open them even once they have been expanded to fill the screen.
- The Mirror in the Hallway that we briefly see Katherine in after Amelia takes her is not clickable.
- The family photo at the base of the statue in the Courtyard is missing.
- The sketch of Pinocchio at the base of the fountain in the Grand Fountain map is missing.
- The family statue in the Grand Fountain map is missing Pinocchio. The accompanying text reads, "Who is this mysterious couple?" instead of "Who is this mysterious family?"
- The text about the dripping sap on the tree is missing the additional, "Is there some way to extract some of it?" clue.
- The Royal Boots are located in front of the Mirror Pool, instead of on the altar behind it.
- The altar at the back of the Mirror Pool is missing the decorative teacups atop it.
- The path to the Pumpkin Garden is blocked by black smoke instead of thick vines.
Additional cut-scene videos are included in the download that are not seen during game play. They share the names of cut-scenes included in the final game - but are different.
- ce_cutscene1: In the final game, this is a cut-scene from The Oriental Cinderella. In the beta version, this video is a sketched and demo-voiced version of the opening video from the main game.
- ce_cutscene2: In the final game, this is a cut-scene from The Oriental Cinderella. In the beta version, this video is a black screen with white text, detailing the graphics and sounds planned for the Detective's briefing cut-scene.
- ce_cutscene3: In the final game, this is a cut-scene from The Oriental Cinderella. In the beta version, this video is a brief storyboard video of the cut-scene where the second Glass Maiden is grabbed by the Wooden Beast.
- cutscene2a: Bizarrely, this is a video of the Mist Wolf attack on our carriage, from The Red Riding Hood Sisters. Even more bizarrely, this video is also included in the final release of The Final Cinderella.
- cutscene8: In the final game, this is the cut-scene where the Detective gives Puppet Katherine the Glass Slippers. In the Beta version, this video is a black screen with white text detailing the graphics and sounds planned for the cut-scene where Katherine is found trapped inside the tree.
The Beta game play stops after the player reaches the Sky Kingdom. The teaser video for the rest of the game then plays, and the player is shown the "Thank you for playing" screen and prompted to complete the survey.
This Beta game differs from the final release in the following ways:
- The prompt alerting the player to the mini map erroneously has an image from The Final Cinderella.
- Extra interactive spots inside several of the Hidden Object Scenes are "active" without there being a fragmented object hidden behind them.
- The Hidden Object Scene on the Bridge has one piece in a different location each time you do it.
- Most of the Parable Pieces are moved, either slightly or drastically. In addition, there are more Parable Pieces found during the beta game than there is in the same amount of game play in the final release. One would think this might provide the player with more Parables to whet their appetite - but only one Parable is completed.
- The Queen's Ring looks entirely different in the beta version than it does in the final release.
- A glitch replaces Jack with a white box after the player gives him the healing potion.
The Beta game play stops after Ross and the Detective jump from the top of Belladonna's Tower to escape the Plant Golem. The teaser video for the rest of the game plays through, then the player is presented with the "Thank you for playing" screen. When the button is clicked, the survey loads.
The Beta game is identical to the final release in every way. There are no noticeable differences between the two, game play-wise.
However, the Beta download does include a couple of cut-scene videos that are exclusive to this version:
- ce_cutscene1: This is a sketched out storyboard of the intro video of The Thumbelina Curse.
- ce_cutscene2: This is a sketched storyboard of the ending video from The Thumbelina Curse.
The Beta game play ends after the player enters the Prasino Royal Palace and encounters King Alexandros. There is no teaser video for the rest of the game. The player is taken directly to the "Thank you for playing" survey screen.
This Beta is different from the final release in the following ways:
- There are no Parables in this beta game. The button is absent from the interface, and no Parable Pieces are present throughout the game.
- The Map of Prasino found inside the Sea Goddess Shrine has a slightly different appearance.
- There's a rug in the Room of Worship that is missing in the final game.
- The Water Pendant found inside the fish cabinet looks different.
- The letter from Chancellor Cassius in the Library is worded slightly differently.
- The Sea Soul Globe is missing from atop King Alexandros' tomb.
- The Detective's observation about being on the seafloor and wondering what magic has made everything dry here is missing.
- The Pirate Ship Bottle in Princess Naida's Room is in a slightly different spot by the Golden Mural. The plaque slot on the mural is also different; it's missing the shaped recess.
- The Blue Tea Cup in Princess Naida's Room is missing.
The Beta game play ends after the player opens the Perfume Factory door and the old woman reveals herself to be the Queen of Sands. The teaser video for the rest of the game plays, and the "Thank you for playing" screen is shown. The player is also prompted to complete the Beta survey.
This Beta is different from the final release in the following ways:
- The Detective's thoughts are worded differently in many spots throughout the Beta. Unless the change is relevant to the game's lore or amusing in some way, these changes won't all be documented here.
- All of the Parable Pieces in the Beta are different. The only Parable available to be read in this version is The Sleepless Child - a Parable that opens up much later in the final release than it does here.
- A lot of the item names and map names are different, but not in any noticeably important ways.
- The Montafleur plaque detailing the founding of the town has entirely different wording. It reads, "Montafleur was founded by the family that gave the city its name. Baron de Montafleur is renowned for establishing a perfume industry in the region. He raised the city and paid for its protection. Grateful citizens honored the Baron by ceding the city's governance to them. The name lives on with the Baron's heir, Eric de Montafleur."
- The Detective calls the Nightmare Wolf a "surly cuss". She also observes that the Wolf is "afraid of fire" - this was changed in the final release to imply the Wolf is merely startled by the flames.
- The Detective's observation about the giant statue buried under the land is missing. Was this added to the final release to draw attention to this?
- The first Hidden Object Scene is entirely different. The pieces are different, their locations are different, and the final item constructed looks different and is called a "Flint Steel Striker" instead of "Flint and Steel".
- The Montafleur map is in a different spot on the wooden board.
- The Beta does not identify the Goddess in the statue inside Montafleur.
- Shadow doesn't disappear from Lavender Fields once the door to the cottage is opened.
- The conversation with Ruth upon entering the cottage is missing a section of dialog. The added dialog is most likely meant to draw attention to the Sisters' notes on the case.
- The Red Riding Hood Sisters' notes on the case are different. The content is the same, but wording changes were made in the final release to make things clearer and more accurate.
- The crests used to open the Bakery have different names.
- The Parable Piece in the Bakery is missing.
- Jessica's letter to her Sisters is entirely different, and is not signed by Jessica.
- After finding the letter in the Bakery, the Detective observes "Looks like Red Riding Hood Sisters were here." This was fortunately changed to an observation about how long the Sisters had been investigating the case.
- The statue to the right of the Clock Tower Gate contains a Parable Piece.
- The "I'm on the clock" pun is missing from the Detective's thoughts on the Montafleur Clock Tower.
- The box at the base of the statue on the left of the Clock Tower Gate is different.
- The Detective's thoughts on the Water Nightmare include the observation, "Another nightmare creature? It looks like they can be created from anything."
- The fairy charm found in the Shrine looks different.
- The text in Hubert de Montafleur's diary (the one first found in the Perfume Shop) is different. The final release clarified the text and included more information about the Sandmen.
- There is a Decorative Vines item on the floor in front of the counter, instead of a Jeweled Gecko.
- The top shelf of the cabinet in the Perfume Shop does not contain Hubert de Montafleur's journal. When this spot is clicked on, the text merely states that, "Something is missing from here."
- The keyhole is missing from the Clock Tower Gate.
- There is a locked box on the table in the Perfume Lab that is missing from the final release.
- The gears behind the Wooden Board slot on the Laboratory Door are missing.
- The jar behind the curtain in the Perfume Lab cannot be moved.
- The Jeweled Flower is missing from the cache unlocked by the books in the Perfume Lab.
- Eric de Montafleur's diary, found in the Garden behind the Perfume Shop, has different text. The beta text seems to imply that Eric plans on breaking into his father's lab to find out his secrets. The final release only addresses Eric's discontent that his father doesn't trust him enough to share his secrets with him.
- The Mechanical Board has a different appearance at the bottom, and there are no scrolls that pop out of the Mechanical Board to tell the tale. When the bottom portion of the puzzle is clicked on, the tangram board that pops out looks entirely different. It is much more ornate looking. Likewise, the text that is revealed by completing the puzzle has a different appearance. It reads, "Story of two lives, seemingly unconnected."
This Beta is different from the final release in the following ways:
- There is a Parable Piece / bear figure in Forest's Edge that is missing from the final release.
- The bear cliff seen from the Lake Shore cannot be clicked on, so the "The more I look at it, the more I'm intimidated." text is missing.
- The Map has blue scrolls denoting each location, instead of the red circles in the final release. There are also no markings on the map to denote where the player and the main objective are. Finally, the small images of the locations are missing from the frame in the upper right corner. Once the Beta Game's Map is open, it cannot be closed - forcing the player to close the entire game and reopen it in order to continue.
- Bulvar's Ship is already at the dock, seen behind the netting the Detective eventually uses for rope. In the final release, the Ship is not at the dock until Leda finds it and moves it there for the trip to Olesia.
- The Parable Piece atop the steeple in the Village Docks is missing.
- The soldier figure in the whetstone base on the Docks has a different appearance, and is called a Bear Soldier Figure.
- The sign above Bulvar's House reads, "Faithful ones follow the stairs to access the ancient shrine of Sun Goddess!" instead of, "House of Bulvar the Merchant, ancient Barsian landmark restored to its former glory." When the sign is clicked on, the Detective observes, "The stairs? I guess that's what sentry was talking about." In the final game, the Detective observes, "I wonder if they've managed to restore it on the inside, as well."
- The door to Bulvar's House is entirely different. Instead of a locking mechanism, there is a large open peephole with a man looking out of it. As soon as the man spots the Detective looking at him, he slams the peephole closed and the Detective thinks, "How rude! I guess that's a result of those attacks. Everyone's afraid." Further clicking on the peephole triggers the text, "I can knock as much as I want, but no one is going to answer." There's also a note on the door, beside the peephole, that reads, "Closed until further notice. The trading station will be closed until the stag problem is resolved." After the Detective reads this note, she observes, "Hmm... It looks like I wasn't the only one who was attacked by the stags."
- The knight figure found in the bear's mouth has a different appearance and is called a Sun Soldier Figure.
- In the Goldilocks and the Three Bears puzzle, each section has its own set of instructions in the bottom text box, while the final release only says, "Interact with the objects to complete the Goldilocks story." throughout the entire puzzle.
- In the Goldilocks and the Three Bears puzzle, the porridge portion has "This porridge is just right!" in the text box under the puzzle and says nothing throughout the puzzle in the top text bar. In the released version, the bottom text box continues to hold the puzzle instructions, while the words "This porridge is too hot!" "This porridge is too cold!" and "This porridge is just right!" appear in the text bar above the puzzle.
- The shield on the cliff wall of the Old Stairway is round and features two flat knight carvings instead of one larger silver/gold knight relief. Strangely, the text accompanying the shield when it is clicked on was not changed for the final release and still refers to two knights in an eternal struggle. Even more strangely, the knights in the "eternal struggle" are the Bear Soldier (with a bear paw on his shield) and the Sun Soldier (with a sun on his shield).
- When the shield with the soldier(s) is removed, the door lock with the torture implements is missing. In its place is an engraved phrase that reads, "Walking through an open door is just an action. Walking through a closed one is a feat." The phrase is even legible in the regular view of the Old Staircase, with only the word "but" replacing the word "just". It is unknown what this phrase means. It could be simply a hint that there will be a door here in the final release - but it seems odd for such a basic hint to be so elaborately displayed.
- Jack's Golden Axe is put together automatically. In the final release, there is an accompanying visual of the Detective fitting the two pieces together.
- When Jack is speaking from the Battlement above, he says, "If you have any plans for that Sunstone, don't bother." In the final release, this was changed to, "If you have any plans for that star, don't bother." This change would have required a re-recording of the voice actor's vocals for the game - something rarely done between a beta and a final release of this kind of game.
- When viewing the giant bear statues outside of the gates of the Barsia Keep, the Detective merely observes, "These statues are so lifelike!" instead of stating that bears have been the symbol of Barsia for centuries.
- The Detective has slightly different observations about the Bear's Heart in her inventory. Also, once opened, the Bear's Heart remains open in the inventory bar at the bottom of the screen. The heart maintains a closed appearance in the player's inventory in the final release.
- One of the pieces in the HOP featuring Jack's sleigh is more easily seen in the beta version of the game.
- The poem on the gates of the Barsia Keep is different in some ways. It reads, "Let's see if you are a friend or a foe / Answer to this Barsian ally should know! / Which beast is a protector of our country brave? / Maybe an owl or a nightingale? / Might dragon that belches fire? / Or grey wolf, so brave and dire? / The truth is - none of these, / But winter sleeper, the foe of bees."
- The Artifact Part found inside one of the compartments of the Sun Goddess statue in the Old Staircase area is larger than it appears in the final release.
- There is a Parable Piece in the Square. The final release is missing this Piece, as well as the carving on the balcony that it morphs from.
- The Three Bears ornament is missing from atop the barrel of Raw Tin Ore.
- When the people outside the tavern are clicked on, the words, "Will that speech begin anytime soon? It's cold outside." seem like they come from the Detective. Likewise, clicking on the people outside of the palace will bring the words, "I hope that the queen will do something about those Olesian beasts!" However, in the final release, both of these phrases are accompanied by voice acting that makes it clear they are spoken by the Barsians.
- The animal tankards locking the Tavern door only need to be placed, not rearranged, to open the door.
- There is a Parable Piece in the Tavern that is missing from the final release.
- The Golden Piston found in the Sun Goddess' statue is glowing when found.
The Beta game play stops after Princess Elise murders Goddess Flora. The player is then shown a video preview for the rest of the game, and is presented with the "Thank you for playing" screen and a prompt to take the associated survey.
There were no noticeable differences between the Beta version and the final release of this game.
The Beta game play stops after Rasputin and Kai switch places, Kai now being trapped in the Tinderbox and Rasputin now being free. The player is then taken to a screen that says "Thanks for playing. Please take the survey." There are several screenshots of areas yet to be seen and concept art of Gerda on this screen as well.
There are no noticeable differences aside from the correction of an error in the first parable, which originally said "a boy with blue hair" instead of "a boy with brown hair".
The Beta game play stops when the Detective witnesses the ritual to bring back the Shadow God. The player is then taken to a screen that says "Thanks for playing. Please take the survey." With it are screenshots of yet-to-be-seen areas and concept art of Guida kneeling on the ground.
The only difference between this version of the game and the final version is that there's a clear sky in the Beta while it's raining constantly in the final version.
The Beta demo ends when the Detective is scorched by the dragon's flames and Brigid is captured by the mysterious man. The player is shown four scenes yet to come, such as Solwood, and then is taken to a page where you're prompted to take the associated survey for the demo. On this page are two pieces of concept art: the design for Mercy and the design for Serafina.
Differences between the beta demo and the final game are as follows:
- New sound effects were added for the cave's breaking.
- The final cutscene was lengthened, so instead of the screen fading to white after the dragon attacks, Serafina now defends the Detective and is hit against the wall. A slightly different version of the music is used for this scene.
- Various grammar mistakes were corrected, namely in "The Exiled Salt Princess" parable and in the Detective's observations of the world.
The Beta demo ends when the Detective is dragged under the purple water by the plant monster.